Palladium Engagement Rings
Palladium engagement rings truly seem to have the best of all worlds with very few cons. While the metal is fairly new to the engagement ring market, compared to gold and platinum, it is increasing in popularity with leaps and bounds and is now found in nearly every online jewellery store and many retail stores, as well.
What is Palladium?
Palladium is, like gold and platinum, a precious metal. It is actually scientifically classed as in the platinum group, except that it has a lower melting point and density than platinum itself. It was discovered in 1803 but was not really used as anything but an alloy in to make white gold engagement rings until World War II. At that time, platinum was needed for war supplies, so palladium was used as a replacement. It has been used in making engagement rings ever since.
Palladium is very similar to platinum. It has the cool white metal that has been so popular for the last several years, and it is also amazingly strong and durable. It is scratch resistant and does not tarnish, and it is actually whiter than platinum. But it costs much, much less than platinum – almost five times less. Basically, you are getting all the benefits of a platinum ring without the high cost.
And unlike white gold, palladium does not need a special coating that will have to be replaced throughout the years. It is naturally white and amazingly strong, so a rhodium plating is not needed. Unlike gold, palladium is hypoallergenic. And, somewhat surprisingly, often palladium can actually cost less than white gold. That is because palladium is actually used to alloy white gold, which gives the yellow gold its white appearance. But the work involved raises the price of white gold, making palladium a less expensive option.
Palladium is lighter and less dense that platinum and more durable than gold, which makes it more ideal for ring settings that have substantial filigree work or small details.
There are very few cons to palladium rings, and most that existed are being overcome with new technology. When palladium was first used to make engagement ring settings, the metals it was alloyed with bubbled and cracked, making palladium rings unlikely to last and retain their beauty. However, many years ago this problem was addressed and corrected, and now palladium is just as durable and scratch resistant as platinum.
At one time, palladium actually cost more than platinum, which limited its usage. But since the early 2000s, the price has dropped substantially, which gives ring buyers a new, affordable option for beautiful, long-lasting engagement rings.
Perhaps the most significant downside of palladium engagement rings today is that they can be hard to find. Many jewellers do not carry them because they make more money when they sell platinum rings. However, palladium rings are very available online, and usually cost less than what can be found in brick and stone jewellery stores.
Caring for your palladium ring.
Caring for a palladium engagement ring is fairly simple and does not go beyond what common sense dictates. Because it is so durable and does not tarnish, it is safe to wear every day, which is always a good trait to have in an engagement ring. However, keeping in mind a few easy reminders will help the ring retain its beauty and lustre forever.
• Remove your ring when using harsh chemicals or doing manual labor. Chemicals can eat away at the ring and the stones and significantly diminish the shine and sparkle. Working with machinery, gardening tools, or other rough labour can dent, scratch, and bend the ring, as well as knocking diamonds or other precious stones loose.
• Bedding can be harsh on all jewellery, although many people do not consider that when wearing a ring to bed.
• Over time, your ring may begin to look dull or green. When palladium comes in contact with harder metals, they can rub off on the ring. Having your ring cleaned will remove the patina-appearance and return your palladium ring to its natural, beautiful lustre.
• Shampoos, lotions, and other beauty supplies can also coat your ring, dulling it significantly. Cleaning it yourself with a gentle brush or having it cleaned will easily remove the build-up.
• Have your ring inspected at least once a year by a professional jeweller. The jeweller will clean it, buff out scratches, and make sure that the setting is still strong and none of the diamonds or other precious stones have come loose.
It is nearly impossible to go wrong with palladium engagement rings. Even those jewellers and designers who have long been platinum-only subscribers are turning to palladium because of its many benefits and few drawbacks. For the ring buyer as well, palladium is sure to be a good investment and something that will last for generations.